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Brush fire erupts near Mount Wilson Observatory in Los Angeles area

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Posted at 6:26 AM, Oct 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-17 13:33:27-04

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A brush fire broke out before dawn Tuesday near the Mount Wilson Observatory in the Angeles National Forest northeast of Los Angeles, leading to the precautionary evacuation of the mountaintop landmark as crews worked to get a handle on the blaze.

The fire was reported about 4:45 a.m. in the general area of Mount Wilson-Red Box Road and had blackened about 30 acres and was 5 percent contained as of 10 a.m., according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. There was no word on what sparked the flames.

No injuries were reported and no structures were immediately threatened, the department reported. Deputies from the sheriff's Crescenta Valley Station helped evacuate the observatory's employees.

About 140 residents of the Chantry Flats area were notified about the fire, but were not ordered to evacuate, according to Angeles National Forest officials.

According to the U.S. Forest Service officials in Arcadia, about 300 firefighters were working to extinguish the fire, including ANF firefighting personnel and crews from Los Angeles County and Cal Fire. A SuperScooper aircraft and seven helicopters were part of the firefighting effort.

Among the helicopters was an Erickson Aircrane helitanker capable of dropping more than 25,000 gallons of water an hour.